David Stokes | St. Louis Public Radio

David Stokes

Policy Analyst, Show Me Institute

David Stokes, a St. Louis native, is a graduate of Saint Louis University High School and Fairfield (CT) University. He spent five years as assistant to St. Louis County Councilman Kurt S. Odenwald, where he was closely involved with legislation including MetroLink expansion, property assessments, HVAC licensing codes, the new Cardinals ballpark, pharmacy privatization and much more. He is the president of the University City Library Board. He has served on boards and committees for several area organizations: the University City Centennial, the St. Louis County Pachyderm Club, and the Downtown St. Louis Residents Association.  He is a Republican committeeman in the Clayton Township (elected in August 2012 to a 4-year term). He lives in University City with his wife, Jennifer, and three children.
 

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Show Me Institute

When I was growing up, I regularly played golf at the Forest Park municipal golf course. Later, in high school and college, I noticed that the quality of the course was improving, a lot. This happened at the same time (late 1980s) that St. Louis outsourced the management of the golf course to a private company. As that outsourcing, or privatization, of the golf course has continued, the quality of the course has continued to improve.

Show Me Institute

Innovation comes from the private sector. You don’t have to be a radical capitalist to agree with that simple truth.  For example, a private inventor, not a government water company, devised the water meter.   St. Louis residents will benefit from the proposed consulting deal with a private company to improve the city’s water division.     

Show-Me Institute

Shrewsbury is the latest city within Saint Louis County to consider Tax Increment Financing (known as TIFs) to subsidize a new Walmart. TIFs have been ravaging our region for twenty years, despite strong evidence they don’t help the economy. A study of TIF use in Chicago suburbs found that cities that did not use TIF grew faster than those that did, while a study of TIF in Iowa found no evidence of economy-wide benefits from its use.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 21, 2011 - Did you know that the building of a high-speed rail line across Missouri will support more than 200,000 jobs? Don't believe me? Well, it is right there on page 21 of the Missouri Department of Transportation's (MoDOT) application for high-speed rail federal funding: "The construction phase is estimated to support over 208,674 direct, indirect, and induced jobs."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 1, 2008 - An economic crisis is an excellent time to question assumptions -- some of which may turn out to have been very harmful. Perhaps the idea that everybody should be homeowners, without regard to affordability, was not such a good idea.